Music Marketing The Velocity Game
The 20,000 Foot View: Music streaming has become so central to the functioning of the record label business model that labels are becoming beholden to streaming service optimisation. A shift towards ever-larger numbers of new releases targeted at streaming success threatens to dislocate the underlying business model of bigger record labels and cause a disconnect between what music audiences want and what they actually get. These are structural industry challenges with potentially seismic implications.
- Chasing stream counts and market share through increased volume and velocity of releases is redefining how record labels and artists operate, prioritising short-term streaming success over long-term strategy
- A central cause and effect of the volume game is a demotion in value of the artist as a brand versus the track – artists are a second-level format within streaming
- Pop and rock are the top two preferred genres for overall consumers, but hip hop dominates the top Spotify tracks with of placings while pop was a distant second on is a risk that the vicious/virtuous circle of artist & revenue and playlist curation influence is turning streaming into a genre micro-climate
- Placing bets on heavily streaming younger listeners to drive hip hop streams risks alienating older streamers who are more likely to be paid users – label marketing strategy is becoming decoupled from label business strategy
- A tension is emerging among music streamers: of music streamers are spending more time listening to playlists but prefer listening to music they choose
Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Spotify, Universal Music